Japan’s SoftBank acquires British tech company

Japanese telecoms company SoftBank acquires UK’s ARM Holdings for close to $33 billionSoftBank snaps up UK’s ARM Holdings for $32 billion

Japanese telecoms business SoftBank has made a high-speed deal to buy British smartphone chip company ARM Holdings for $32 billion, as the company targets the ‘internet of things’ technology market. Negotiations were incredibly swift, resulting in a $22-cash-per-share offer – significantly above ARM’s previous closing price – following hard on the heels of a brief round of talks. Larger-than-life CEO of the Japanese group, Masayoshi Son, approached ARM bosses Simon Segars and Stuart Chambers informally for discussions, before concluding the final offer within just two weeks. Read more…

Former Barclays bankers jailed for Libor fraud

Former Barclays traders handed lengthy jail terms for Libor riggingManipulating benchmark rates for gain

Four former Barclays bankers have been handed down jail time following a three-month trial at Southwark Crown Court in London, England. The charges related to conspiring to fraudulently rig global benchmark interest rates between 2005 and 2007 and the convictions represent a victory for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which has been pursuing investigations into the Libor scandal for some years but has achieved just one other successful prosecution against six acquittals. Two more Libor-fixing cases by other former Barclays bankers are still under investigation. Read more…

Not-so-happy new year for global markets

Markets in turmoilMarkets in turmoil as World Economic Forum ends

As 2016 gets underway, global markets are already experiencing turmoil. Markets in Europe and the US endured some of their steepest losses for decades in the first few days of the New Year, sparked by fears over continued problems in the Chinese economy where trading was temporarily suspended to try to stem the haemorrhaging yuan. Many markets seem to be edging dangerously close to ‘bear’ territory – indicating a fall of 20% or more from their most recent peak. Read more…

Oil prices near a seven-year low

Global oil prices continue to fallGlobal oil prices continue to fall

Crude oil prices have slumped to their lowest levels in seven years, with further losses likely in the coming weeks. On 4 December, the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) agreed to continue its policy of seeking market share rather than supporting prices, which saw US crude oil values falling to less than $40 a barrel. Prices are now at their lowest levels since the close of 2008, when crude-oil futures price fell to around $34. Opec’s organisational disarray has promoted renewed selling and is causing widespread concern in the sector. Read more…

No upturn in sight for Chinese economy

China’s economy shows no signs of recovery China’s economy shows no signs of recovery

Chinese manufacturing activity fell to a six-year low as China’s president defended his government’s stock market intervention during his recent state visit to the US. Xi Jinping claimed that although the economy was experiencing difficulties, it was on the road to recovery. International concern remains, though, as evidence of the country’s economic slump was seen in a dip in average annual growth rate to around 7.4% – with IMF forecasts standing at 6.8% for next year. Read more…

First conviction secured in Libor rigging scandal

A former derivatives trader has been convicted of fraud following rate rigging scandalFormer City trader imprisoned for his part in the Libor rate rigging scandal

Seven years after it began, the global investigation of the rate-rigging scandal that caused shockwaves across the world has resulted in its inaugural conviction. A 14-year jail sentence has been handed down to former UBS and Citigroup derivatives trader Tom Hayes after becoming the first to be found guilty by a jury of rigging the Libor interest rate. The trial, which is being held in London has resulted in a number of charges against individuals as well as $9 billion-worth of bank regulatory settlements. Read more…

 

Greek stock market plummets as financial woes continue

Greek stock market plummets as financial woes continueTough times for the Greek economy as stocks fall

The Greek stock market plummeted by more than 20% on its first day of trading after the month-long closure prompted by concerns that Greece may be about to leave the eurozone. The Athens stock index saw its worst-ever performance in the minutes after trading began, with banking shares, which make up about a fifth of the index, being hit particularly hard. The overall banking index fell to its 30% volatility limit. Read more…

Chancellor Osborne initiates RBS sale

RBS sell-off

RBS sell-off underway

British Chancellor George Osborne has started the controversial process of transferring bailed-out bank RBS back to private ownership. The sell-off of a 5% stake in the bank – around £2bn-worth of shares – will reduce the taxpayers’ holding to under 75% and is the first sale of shares since the bank was rescued in 2008. The sell-off will result in a loss of around £1bn to the UK taxpayer. Read more…

China stock market in freefall

$3tn wiped off value of Chinese shares$3tn wiped of the value of shares

The Shanghai composite index has plummeted by 6% as panic selling continues to wipe trillions of dollars off the value of Chinese-listed companies. Despite the government’s efforts to stem the tide by relaxing borrowing rules and cutting fees, shares have dropped to less than a third of their June peak. Read more…

Hound of Hounslow arrested

 Hound of Hounslow arrested for helping to cause 2010 flash crashThe Hound of Hounslow

In a drama worthy of a movie script, a solo British trader has been arrested for his part in allegedly triggering a multi-billion-dollar US stock market crash from his parent’s west London house. Navinder Singh Sarao, alias ‘the Hound of Hounslow’ is currently being held at the request of US authorities investigating his involvement in the 2010 ‘flash crash’ which sent shockwaves through in the world’s biggest stock market. But how did it happen and why is the Department of Justice so keen to make an example of Sarao? Read more…